Steelcase always has thought provoking insights in its well-researched white papers. Have you read the one about how employees organize their workspaces? It’s worth a look. The writers postulate that people typically display one of six basic “patterns” of work. Some appear messy while others are strict about structure. However, it may be a mistake to value the appearance of neatness over actual organization. For example, the activity of storing files shouldn’t necessarily take precedence over staging files for use throughout the day based on priority.
From the viewpoint of purchasing and arranging office furniture, knowing what pattern each employee is using can be very helpful. Often, this is based on job role. For example, someone who is responsible for distributing information throughout a department or company will have different organizational needs and habits than the person responsible for long term record storage. The Steelcase paper gives great tips about what types of workstations and accompanying filing space can best support each work style. Check it out here!